As a follow-up to my reflection about the Global Engagement Fellowship and my career, I decided to attend the IAS Career Fair. While I’m not an IAS major, I have some overlapping interests and I didn’t think they would kick me out. Having never been to a career before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It turned out to be similar to other informational fairs, with tables set up for the different organizations and a representative at each who, thank goodness, was willing to do most of the talking.
After stopping by to say hello to Jaci at the Fulbright and Critical Languages Scholarship table, I went on to the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and Catholic Charities tables. I was a bit uncomfortable at first and felt quite unprepared, but I did manage to think of some questions for the representatives. The Peace Corps places volunteers in various regions of the world for a two year period plus three months of training. The representative recommended filling out lots of information about your skills and interests, and letting the Peace Corps place you where you would be the best fit. This way you might end up anywhere, but you don’t run the risk of mismatching yourself. Teach for America offers paid two year teaching positions in under-served regions of the United States, even to those with no teaching background. Like the Peace Corps, you state your preferred regions and subject matter, but they ultimately decide your assignment. I stopped by Catholic Charities since it had been mentioned in a class the day before. To my surprise, since I had never heard of the organization before, it was actually the most interesting. One of their programs works to resettle refugees in Oklahoma City, a large portion of whom are Arabic speakers from Iraq. They allow their interns a lot of freedom once they are comfortable with the work, and, once I learn some more Arabic, it could be a good opportunity to practice while involved in actual work.
Overall, I was quite pleased. I learned about some interesting opportunities and a possible internship, was able to come up with questions, and came away with information, pens, and a day pack. My first career fair was a success!
Image from Pellissippi State Community College. www.pstcc.edu/counseling/career/#.VlECgXarQgs